Loving Mantis Wild and Free

(my pic of Loving Mantis)
(or listen here)

A Praying Mantis sat on my shoulder while I ate my lunch outside and walked around the house doing chores for at least 20 minutes. This little guy had a temporary out-of-species crush despite every instinct to stick to the rivers and lakes that he’s used to. I broke it off when I began to worry he might get hurt or gobbled up by one of my mother’s doggies. SonHerisme got a seashell from his nature collection and gently lured Mantis onto the shell for a ride back into the great unknown. SonHerisme has assumed head ghillie responsibilities now, frequently taking note of the wildlife progressions and habitations in our tiny spot of earth. Mantis nature repatriation is all a part of the job, and he does it well.

Silly Mantis returned to the back door about an hour later, waving and scratching to get my attention to come back inside. I opened the door and politely declined his offer of friendship for his own health and safety and protecting my boundaries of bug aversion. Mantis returned once again in the evening, waving through the glass door. Unfortunately, he was a little more stealthy this time, and jumped to the opening as soon as I opened the door the tiniest bit. What poor Mantis did not anticipate, were two enthusiastic little doggies who gregariously welcome bugs into their gently smiling jaws and happy doggy bellies. Poor Mantis. He managed to wrangle away because doggy #1 does not have enough teeth to efficiently wrangle with a Mantis. But in the entanglement of deciding if Mantis should or should not be a Scooby snack, Mantis left a leg behind – a little morsel of buggy deliciousness heartily enjoyed by one smug dentally challenged pup.

No Mantis encore.

Praying mantis are “ambush predators with lightening fast moves,” according to treehugger. Similar to technology. It’s definitely lightening fast in how quickly it’s evolved to being essential in our daily lives for critical connection, information, daily conduct, and communication sharing. We all got a glimpse of how important certain online platforms are to us when they became unavailable for hours yesterday. Some of us rely on them for our businesses, family connections during uncertain crisis, and even just the instant push of dopamine gratification through the scroll.

side note: I love the Instagram algorithm that decides what to pop into my search feed. I think it's based on the accounts I follow as well as what my connections follow. It's mostly nature, travel, design, babies, and recipes for me with the occasional celebrity snippet - which I enjoy but am too uncomfortable to actually follow, except for authors. I have issues. It's okay - I'm fine.

Ambush predator is also appropriate as technology has hit us so quickly, deeply and so hard, it is absolutely stalking our movements and made itself critical in our day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute daily conduct at home, work, and school. We are reliant on technology to function. My great grandparents still had a normal which included no personal electricity and no indoor plumbing, while living in this country without a label of being unusual in their lives and for most of my grandparent’s childhoods. They knew animal husbandry, kitchen gardens, digging toileting pits, hunting, foraging, community bartering, basic carpentry, basic medical necessities etc. In the short time from them to me, I absolutely do not know how to survive without a stocked grocery store (and internet ordering back-up), electricity, and people to call/text if things do not work beyond basic repairs I can YouTube and do on my own (dismantling and cleaning the dishwasher – woot woot!).

Perhaps its more accurate to say that technology can be an ambush tool for predators. A friend of mine is wondering if technology is more of a colonization. It is in a sense – but a leveling of the playing field sense imo. Everywhere in the world I think there is someone who can figure out a relatively quick work-around if something goes awry. This is different than other colonization which relied on brutality and lack of information and communication in order to maintain power and control. Technology thrives on information sharing and dissemination(positive, negative, neutral are equal in their availability and access to anyone at anytime with a connection and connections are only broadening).

I do not buy into a conspiracy theory about the socials going down yesterday. However, I do believe, like much of the sabre wielding right wing nuttery increasingly overt exposure and tolerance/acceptance/veneration over the past few years, yesterday shines a light on the potential for technology failing us in a massive global way after training us to be fully reliant on it. A relatively quick work-around for this on a massive scale will still have horrific consequences for many of us (pandemic example much?). This is an extreme vulnerability needing addressed. It’s right up there with climate change. No, I will not be seeing the upcoming doomsday Keira Knightly movie (although I am sure she is lovely, perfect, wonderful, amazing, and a spectacular person irl too, deserving of all of the most positive energies and such).

I believe that yesterday’s socials failure blip was a result of humans humaning under extreme pressure of being almost two years into a pandemic, trying desperately to harness an unsustainable sense of normalcy, plus years of national gaslighting, and everyone knowing someone who has succumbed to COVID with difficulties or death. The instability-of-our-culture toothpaste was squeezed out willy nilly and we are having a helluva time getting that toothpaste back into the tube (all full of plastics and chemicals to half heartedly brush our fake or bleached teeth while we leave the faucet running for good measure).

Oh no. I’ve gone from anthropomorphic wild Mantis love to toothpasting it up. I might need more rest and a brain cleanse.

It may be my anxiety showing (pardon me whilst I floss that bit out) as SonHerisme has another phone call with MrexH after school today, MotherHerisme needs support with showering and bandage changes (along with other regular support), and I am having a lot of, “this is what I am doing with my life instead of a million other things,” moments. I am grieving the hope of being me.

To sum up – the Praying Mantis was temporarily charming, the socials pause is giving me pause, I am not a fan of the gaslighting, and I am cycling through grief still/again.

The balm – rainy day walk before lunch, tidying SonHerisme’s room (at his request for support, no boundary breach), and using this space to let some things run wild and free. Thank you for sitting through this with me. I appreciate your tolerance and patience. I hope that you and your loved ones are well and that the socials being down wasn’t too disruptive for you.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps. Mantis and Groot are my favorite Marvel characters – I mean, in addition to the usual characters, but mostly I just love them because Mantis is free and open to experiencing emotions and has glowing attenae which help other people with emotional regulation, and Groot has few words full of meaning and saves people with a branchy sparkle light cocoon. I hope that Mantis and Drax become something healing together, and that baby Groot grows to be as lovely as original Groot. I love sparkle fairy lights.

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